Special Exhibition Label: 'Al-Mizan: Sciences and Arts in the Islamic World' (26/10/2010 - 20/03/2011)
Made by Ahmad and Muhammad the sons of Ibrahim, in Isfahan in 984/5 (or 1003/4), this object is the earliest Persian astrolabe known. There is a large triangular kursi (throne) linking the suspension ring and the main circular body. This would become a standard feature of later Persian instruments and is here treated as pierced ornament. The displayed reverse side suggests the continuity of Islamic astronomy with earlier traditions. The engraved astrological tables use early forms of the symbols for the seven planets that derive from Greek forms.
MHS inv. 33767